Strong finish sees Ballygiblin stay on course to retain Munster JHC title
Report by Therese O’Callaghan for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Ballygiblin 2-10 Grangemockler-Ballyneale 0-11
Ballygiblin remain on track to defend their AIB Munster club JHC title after they finished strong in Saturday’s quarter-final at FBD Semple Stadium.
A goal from Darragh Flynn in the 50th minute eventually put daylight between these sides. The north Cork men went on to outscore Grangemockler-Ballyneale three points to one thereafter.
Mention too for a sterling defensive display which only saw two points from play scored by Grangemockler-Ballyneale over the hour.
Defending champions Ballygiblin had the breeze in the first-half, but it was Grangemockler-Ballyneale who got the scoreboard moving with their chief-scorer Darragh Shelley firing over a ’65 in the third minute.
Ballygiblin free-taker Joseph O’Sullivan levelled a couple of minutes later.
The Tipperary representatives – although beaten in their county final by Upperchurch/Drombane — were up for the challenge as midfielder Shelley arrowed over the next two points from placed balls.
Ballygiblin, with Mark Keane dominant as sweeper at centre-back and Darragh Flynn playing a roving role, landed four points unanswered between the 13th and 22nd minute – Joseph O’Sullivan (free), Sean O’Sullivan, Dean Barry and Darragh Flynn to lead 0-5 to 0-3.
Indeed, both Sean O’Sullivan and Barry scores could have been goals after O’Sullivan’s shot took a deflection over the bar and Cathail O’Mahony had a shot off the post before Barry gathered the breaking ball for his point.
Grangemockler-Ballyneale finished the half confidently with four points on the trot from Shelley (frees), John Lyons and Conor Hahessy to lead at the interval, 0-7 to 0-5.
On the restart, Cathail O’Mahony netted in the 34th minute. To his credit, the corner-forward had much work to do, but he picked his spot to score the game’s opening goal.
A wonderful point from Joseph O’Sullivan from distance kept the Cork champions in the ascendancy – albeit by a single point – in the 40th minute.
Grangemockler-Ballyneale weren’t going away, and at the three-quarter stage, it was level pegging thanks to another Shelley free, 1-6 to 0-9.
The sides were still level when Darragh Flynn ran through for another important Ballygiblin flag – his team’s second goal in the 50th minute following good work by Dillon Sheehan, 2-7 to 0-10.